Meet the Team

Sajid Sadpara

Mountaineer

Sajid Sadpara is best known for being the son of Ali Sadpara. His first summit was K2 in summer in 2019. The father son duo teamed up with Icelandic mountaineer, John Snorri, and Chilean mountaineer, Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto for a joint K-2 Winter 2021 mission on February 5th, 2021.

Elia Saikaly

Director / Cinematographer

He’s an award winning filmmaker and has been on Mt. Everest eight times. Elia is one of the few people on Earth who can consistently shoot above 8000m. His signature Everest imagery has garnered millions of views online been seen on Discovery Channel, BBC, ESPN, HBO, NBC, Outside Television and many more.

Pasang Kaji Sherpa

IFMGA Guide / Film Crew

He’s a businessman, entrepreneur, expert climber, and father. Pasang has summited Everest 5 times and was recently in Syria helping civilians who were caught in the war. Risking his own life and his safety to help others is a common occurrence for him.

Fazal Ali

High Altitude Support

Aziz Baig

High Altitude Support

K2 The Calling

While filming a documentary on K2 in winter, two of his friends disappeared on their push to the summit. Elia Saikaly and his climbing partner Pasang Kaji Sherpa are heading back with Sajid Sadpara to the world’s second highest mountain. The combined mission is to help Sajid find answers, obtain closure for families of the missing mountaineers and to complete the film as a tribute to his lost friends.

John Snorri

K2 Winter Team Leader

John Snorri summited K2 and Broad Peak in just seven days and was recognized in Iceland as the country’s foremost mountaineer. This was the result of a single person performing at the height of his physical and mental capabilities.

Ali Sadpara

K2 Winter Team Co-Leader

Muhammad Ali Sadpara was a Pakistani high-altitude mountaineer. He was part of the team that successfully achieved the first ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016. Ali successfully climbed four eight-thousanders in a calendar year and a total of eight in his career.

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At the Bottleneck

K2’s Bottleneck and the giant serac.

The last frame

The last frame of video from John Snorri’s GoPro 360, shot during their summit push during winter on K2.

Pakistan’s hero – Ali Sadpara

Beneath the waving flag is Pakistan’s hero - Ali Sadpara.

Beyond the impasse

This is where we literally hit a wall on our last rotation to camp 4. In between the lower and upper part of the photo is knee/waist high snow and a dangerously deep crevasse. Sajid approached it first following the fixed line and couldn’t penetrate the path upwards. A lone line hung 80 degrees above him with a deadly crevasse beneath his feet - it made no sense. Pasang then stepped in, grabbed his tools and started working on fixing a path.

The cost of the climb

No, not that cost. The cost of entry by way of personal sacrifice. What does it cost? The cost to stand where we stand and do what we do. The answer: It’s enormous.

Those that stand with us

There are many unsung heroes on this expedition: from the Pakistani high altitude climbers, the Nepalese Sherpas, our team behind the scenes, the cooking staff, the porters, the drivers, the staff at Jasmine Tours, our production partners, Liaison Officer, family members and innumerable others. But the person I want to shine light on is my friend and climbing partner Pasang Kaji Sherpa, seen here at camp 2 just two days ago.

The way towards the Bottleneck

As an image like this one appears on your social media feed it’s easy to take for granted what went into bringing our little world into yours. It’s one of the great privileges of doing what I do, knowing I can share these wild places in Nature with all of you.

Not without my father

This determined young man pushed us, and rightfully so, back up the mountain after only two days rest from our last 4 day rotation on the mountain. When you’ve got the weather on K2, you have to take advantage of it.

The oxygen we never found

A few days ago while climbing high on K2, PK and I found the oxygen that was intended to enable the final portion of our winter climb and production on K2. At the time, we were incredibly disappointed that between 5 experienced mountaineers, the location of where this oxygen was and the circumstances surrounding its placement remained vague and unclear. Not finding this oxygen marked the end of our expedition.

For our friend John Snorri

John’s wife Lina had this beautiful plaque made in loving memory of her late husband. It will be placed at the Gilkey Memorial by young Sajid Sadpara.

Camp 1 on K2

In the far distance at the base of the hill are a few yellow nylon tents marking K2’s advanced basecamp. A 3hr walk on glacial terrain followed by a mini icefall leads you a trail of scree and rock which then connects you to the entrance to the Abruzzi Ridge route. It’s steep, relentless and unforgiving.

Between the shoulder and the summit

It’s impossible to slow this young man down. The fire in his eyes and in his heart has created an unstoppable force.

The call of the mountain

I sat outside my tent last February, staring up at the ‘Savage Mountain’, after the disappearance of our friends John Snorri and Ali Sadpara, my soul was on fire and I had a look in my eye of pure determination. I knew then that we would return. We had to. Honor is everything.

The three amigos

This is where it all began for PK, Sajid and I. Last winter, we set off with Sajid on an acclimatization hike just outside of basecamp. We got to know this young man and learned a bit about what it was like for him to be climbing K2 with his father in winter during the historic and ultimately fateful season.

A few hours away from K2 basecamp

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted. The rigamarole of mounting both an expedition and documentary production, which includes the management of every detail from finances, logistics, formalities, marketing, social, politics, relationships, egos, invisible hands, content, jet lag and constant fires to put out, really takes its toll. But I’m here. We made it. All is in place. Everyone is healthy and in good spirits and all of the above is now noise in the background that will be placed aside the moment we arrive at K2 basecamp.

Pasang Kaji Sherpa

We’ve been on 10 expeditions together in the past 8 years, each involving high altitude video production. He’s my climbing partner, camera assist above the clouds and above all else, my dearest friend Pasang Kaji Sherpa.

Life through my lens on the journey to K2 basecamp

We’re two days away from the base of the 2nd highest mountain on Earth. To say this trek is stunning would be an understatement. It’s wild and filled with local people whose smiles light up your heart.

June 30 – Goro

Sajid Sadpara on his way to K2 basecamp

It’s hard to believe that we’re back in Pakistan. And it’s even harder to believe that not only are we here, we managed to put the team back together as it was last winter. Fazal, Mosin, myself, Pasang Kaji, the cooking staff - we’re back together. It was important to me that those that experienced all of this first-hand on the ground in winter be there to support Sajid and his quest to find his father.

June 29 – To Urdukas

June 28 – On the way to Paiju

June 26 – In Sadpara

K2 The Calling

I’m in Pakistan and headed to K2 with Sajid Sadpara to search for his father, Ali Sadpara and our dear friend John Snorri.

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